Breed portrait Dalmatian – at the latest with the movie "101 Dalmatians" by Walt Disney, this dog breed became known worldwide. For a while the breed seemed to become a fashionable dog, because everyone wanted to have such a shrewd and "spotted" dog in his family.
The fact that this breed is very demanding and needs experienced dog owners to be happy and to be able to live species-appropriate, we will show you in our article.
Breed portrait Dalmatian: Where does the Dalmatian come from??
From which original dog breed the Dalmatian descended and from which geographical area it came, no one can really understand until today. The FCI classifies the origin of the dog on the Mediterranean area. According to FCI he should have his origin in Croatia. There in the area of Dalmatia have had. Old drawings and pictures show dogs with a similar appearance in Egyptian tombs. From there it is said to have reached India, where the British discovered it and took it home with them.
From the multitude of origin stories it can be seen that the origin of the Dalmatian cannot be conclusively clarified.
Dalmatian breed portrait: tasks in the past and present
With the British, the dog was used as a carriage escort dog. Travelers and herds were protected from attack by the dog that loved to run.
[the_ad particularly interesting story, which can be historically traced, comes from New York. There the Dalmatian, which likes to make itself known by barking, ran in front of the team of the fire department and acted as a siren for the other road users to clear the road.
In the present the running dog developed to a family dog, which finds a good place above all with active, sporty families.
Breed portrait Dalmatian: The breed characteristics
Classification at FCI
At the FCI the breed is listed in group 6 for running dogs and sweat dogs in section 3 for related breeds, which have no working test.
size and weight
Dalmatians are medium to large dogs that are well muscled and proportioned. Males have a height at withers from 56 cm to 62 cm. bitches are a little smaller with 54 cm to 60 cm.
While males can reach a weight of 27 kg to 32 kg, the desired weight of females varies between 24 kg to 29 kg. Weight should be appropriate to body size. Thus a bitch, which is only 54 cm high, with a weight of 29 kg will rather appear as overweight and disproportionate.
Dalmatians are extremely eager to run.
Coat color and length
The Dalmatian is the only dog breed that shows clearly defined black or brown spots on a white coat. According to the breed standard these spots are not allowed to run into each other. Must be visibly distinguished from each other. If dogs are born whose spots run into each other, these dogs are excluded from breeding.
The same applies to puppies, which already show spots and plates in their actually white coat before the 10th day of life. Other coat colors, which however lead to exclusion from breeding are "Lemon", "Orange" and rarely tricolored Dalmatians.
A dog with the color "Lemon" is a Dalmatian, which has light spots and a black nose leather. Meanwhile, the coat color "orange" belongs to a dog that has light spots with a brown nose leather. The tri-color Dalmatian has brown. Black spots on a white coat.
The coat of this breed is dense, short and smooth. The dog sheds all year round. Should be brushed daily.
Build, eyes and tail
The Dalmatian is a well-muscled dog with a straight back, a long chest and a slender neck. The hanging ears lie close. High set on the head.
Depending on the spot color, the round eyes should be either amber or dark brown in color. Dogs with blue eyes, regardless of whether only one eye is affected or both, are not allowed to breed. The reason lies in a genetic defect which can affect all animal species whose coat shows a high proportion of the color "white".
In these animals, in connection with blue eyes, a higher proportion of blind individuals is demonstrated. The tail is long. Becomes narrower towards the tip. It is not straight, but forms the shape of a light sickle.
To make sure that your Dalmatian will still have healthy teeth tomorrow, we have put together all the information you need about a toothbrush for dogs here.
Breed portrait Dalmatian: The nature
In general, the Dalmatian that loves to move is described as lively and sensitive. The high sensitivity of this breed brings the danger for the dog owner that it becomes stubborn when educated too hard and quickly loses trust in the owner.
As an intelligent running dog, the Dalmatian is eager to learn. It is imperative that the Dalmatian be physically and mentally exercised so that its positive qualities can be put to good use. Underchallenged dogs can cause problems for the owner throughout their lives that are difficult to correct.
Will to please in the Dalmatian
Due to their habit of wanting to please humans and the fact that the breed likes to be in contact with their humans, the handler must keep in mind with all the zeal that the Dalmatian displays, that the dog must learn to settle down at an early age.
If one neglects the rest phases, the Dalmatian can become a hectic and unfocused companion who always wants and needs to have action. A normal, quiet walk is hardly possible with such a dog.
Dalmatian in the family
Dalmatians build a very strong relationship with their family. They are cuddly and need constant contact with their pack. For them it is sometimes very problematic, without sufficient exercise, to be separated from the reference persons for several hours.
The quick perception enables the Dalmatian to assess situations well and use them to his advantage. If the rules are not clear and the Dalmatian finds a loophole from the rules, he will exploit them to improve his position in the pack.
A suitable task for the Dalmatian
The athletic, intelligent dog needs a job and lots of exercise to remain a balanced family member. Dog sports, such as agility, where the dog can blow off steam and at the same time train his attention, are excellent for the Dalmatian to keep busy.
Because of his hunting dog part, which he can hardly deny, search games, mantrailing and use as a rescue dog are well suited for the friendly dog as a task. Cycling, jogging and being taken along as a riding companion dog are in accordance with his nature and physical constitution. Physically, you can exercise your Dalmatian, for example, with the trendy sport of dogscooting.
Breed portrait Dalmatian: Possible diseases
In principle, this breed belongs to the types of dogs that bring extremely few health problems. Nevertheless, a few diseases must be mentioned which, due to a genetic predisposition, can only occur in Dalmatians or which, because of the peculiarity of their light coat coloration, occur more frequently than in darker breeds. This disease occurs especially in this breed. Inherited through a gene defect. The metabolism of a Dalmatian is different from that of other breeds of dogs. Dalmatians do not convert excess nitrogen into allantoin as other dogs do, but excrete nitrogen in the form of uric acid.
Basically, this breed has an increased uric acid level in the blood. In the bladder this concentration is up to 40 times higher than in other dog breeds. Uric acid is less soluble than allantoin and forms crystals more quickly, which can form stones in the urinary tract and kidneys.
The cause is actually a mutated gene. Normally, this gene controls the transport of uric acid to the liver and kidneys. Due to the mutation this transport pathway is disturbed.
To compensate this defect, in 1973 a veterinarian in the USA tried a cross between Dalmatians and a Pointer. In the following years, these offspring of this compound were crossed with the dog population carrying the gene defect.
After many years of backbreeding, it was possible to breed Dalmatians that fully met the breed standards and no longer carried the mutated gene.
This population is called LUA. This derives from the term Low Uric Acid, which means "low uric acid level". After initial difficulties of acceptance, the breeding associations have partially started to cross the original HUA population with the LUA population.
Not every dog of this breed is prone to increased stone formation due to this defect. If you want to be sure that the uric acid level is within the normal range for this breed, you can check it at home by dipping test strips into the dog's urine.
In addition, a responsible dog owner can pay attention to this breed from the beginning on appropriate diet. A low-purine diet with little beef, special diet food, sufficient water and regular opportunities for the dog to urinate within 4 to 6 hours to flush the bladder, further minimize the risk.
Dalmatians love their family, but need a fixed relationship person.
This disease causes degeneration of inner ear structures in puppies from the age of 8 weeks. The disease occurs more frequently in blue-eyed dogs, which is why they are excluded from breeding. Breeders have recognized their responsibility.
Puppies are given an audiometry test that can detect unilateral or bilateral deafness. None of the affected animals is allowed for breeding.
It occurs in young dogs and can lead to movement disorders and visual disturbances. In rapid progression the dog loses its ability to move.
Breed portrait Dalmatian: For whom is a Dalmatian suitable?
The running dog Dalmatian needs at least two to three hours of exercise and activity a day. In addition, he is extremely family-oriented. Does not want to spend a long working day alone in the apartment.
An apartment and a house with a garden are great for this dog, but do not bring him anything if he gets his daily exercise exclusively in this area. The Dalmatian needs to get out, move and experience something together with you.
He wastes away in a restricted garden without new stimuli and meaningful tasks. He feels comfortable even in an apartment with sufficient exercise.